The Biden administration is considering whether to impose domestic travel restrictions, as they are fearful that coronavirus mutations are threatening to reverse the hard-fought progress on the pandemic.
Outbreaks of the new variants have lent urgency to a review of potential travel restrictions.
The administration do not target a specific state but focus on surging numbers in states, like Florida and California.
“There are active conversations about what could help mitigate spread here, but we have to follow the data and what’s going to work. We did this with South Africa, we did this with Brazil, because we got clear guidance,” one White House official said. “But we’re having conversations about anything that would help mitigate spread,” an official said.
On his first full day in office, President Joe Biden directed the CDC, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Homeland Security to draw up a list of recommendations on “how their respective agencies may impose additional public health measures for domestic travel.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky are examining whether to require COVID-19 testing for travelers on domestic flights, which has drawn opposition from airline executives.
In Florida, the U.K. variant has spread rapidly in the state during that time and now accounts for up to 15% of new cases. Gov. Ron DeSantis has kept Florida’s economy open even as the virus and its variants spread.
Photos by Getty IMages